{writer’s almanac}

I have decided that I need to be exposed to more poetry.  I was only exposed in High School, like everyone else, and it did nothing to help me foster a love or even a real appreciation of poetry.  Of course I was not taken with what little I was exposed to.  I don’t think that a love of poetry is like a love of opera in that you either LOVE opera or you can appreciate it, but it will never be a part of your soul.  I think that poetry can be different in that there are infinite styles, subjects and levels of complexity and you can find a poet or poem that speaks to you, it doesn’t matter where you are in your life.

I have found a website that is exposing me to a different poem everyday.  It is really exciting to me to expand my knowledge and appreciation of the world just a little bit everyday.  I was searching for a way into poetry and this is giving me a way to find that road.

Writer’s Almanac

Today’s poem about knocked my out of my chair, so I thought I would share.

Questionnaire

by Wendell Berry

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

“Questionnaire” by Wendell Berry from Leavings. © Counterpoint, 2010. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

{not for nothing…}

I know I am a little late getting this out there but, I can’t get it out of my head and I have lectured my husband on it several times now and he is sick of agreeing with me.

All those people who are buying guns at a record pace would do better to put that money into a retainer on a lawyer.  It is not the government kicking in your door that you have to worry about, because why in the name of all that is holy would the government kick in your door when every person over the age of 5 has a cell phone with a camera.  It would end up on most major news outlets within the hour, maybe even Fox News (depending on who is in office).

It would be messy, nasty and a horrendous PR nightmare.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you have committed some major crime, no problem, go get ’em.  But just sending armed men to kick in your door because you don’t think they way they do.  Nope, not going to happen.

Not when they have the IRS.

I am telling you, the best defense against an intrusive government is a really good tax attorney.

Also, I think that if the founding fathers had written the Constitution in this day and age, they would have granted us the right to a computer and the Internet.

That is the best defense against a corrupt government.

The government is far more afraid of the hacker group Anonymous, than of any armed militia.

Bad press trumps everything.

I say all this from my computer in a town about 20 min outside of Dallas, TX.  I understand the gun culture, and have been surrounded by it all my life.  I don’t understand why some of my nearest and dearest family don’t get it.

I suppose holding a laptop doesn’t hold the same romance as holding a Smith & Wesson.  Facing down your foe with evil youtube videos isn’t as satisfying to them.

They don’t understand that gunshot wounds heal and even death is final.  Screwing with someone’s mind lasts much, much longer.

Especially if you publish evil pictures of them on the internet.

And if you mess with their credit, well…

I’m just sayin’.

 

{my freak flag is misspelled…it says geek}

I have always been a geek.

I have not always known it.

I wasn’t an outcast in school, but I was on the D or E list.  The person you talked to because you sat by me or because no one else was around.  I was the girl who had guys develop slight crushes on me because of my personality.  Yeah, I was THAT girl.

I had curly, fuzzy hair in an age where there was no mousse.  I have school pictures that are the stuff of nightmares.  I had learning disabilities that put me in “special classes”.  I read quite a bit and had anxiety disorder that cause me to sometimes end up in the office before school started because I would plead not to have to go.  All things that label you for life, that and we didn’t have a lot of money so once in a blue moon I could take part in a clothing trend (guess jeans any one?) but I was late to the party so it made little impact.

Coming late to the party would be a pattern in my life.

I take comfort in the fact that the converted are always more zealous than those born to it.

Elementary school, Middle school and most of High school don’t hold alot of fond memories.  It wasn’t until high school and I found drama class that things changed.  I was in all the special choirs for PTA programs and such in elementary, and I was in 1 year of choir in middle school.  They put me in a special class (yet again) in my 7th grade year that I REALLY didn’t need, so choir was not possible that year.  I am still bitter about that (the teacher even questioned why I was in that class.  I was leaps and bounds ahead of everybody in the room).  So choir was not the gateway to acceptance that you might think.

That gateway was drama.  Let me be clear, even in this I was a geek.  I would have cut my throat before I sat foot on a stage in front of an audience (mandatory stint as a nun in the chorus of Sound of Music not withstanding). Yes, I was in Technical Theater class.  A stage hand.  A crew geek.

I had found my tribe.  These people, with exceptions of course, didn’t really care what other people thought.  We were allowed to be weird.  In the terms of mid-eighties suburban Texas anyway.  I was inducted into the Thespian society, but if anyone asked, it was explained to them that we were being abducted by the lesbian society.  The stories I could tell, but what happens backstage, stays backstage.  In short I was accepted in a way that I had never experienced before.  I was beginning to recognize that although I passed, I was not quite the automaton that others were.  I was just on the inside of acceptance.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have been a full blown bohemian.  Art and writing and bad poetry would have been abundant.  I did write poetry, that is how I know exactly how bad it would have been.

The point of all of this is that I have been longing for something all my life.  We all do I know, I just didn’t know that it would be tardis blue.  Or making stories about other peoples characters.  Or realizing that I am not alone in all this wonderment.  That now, at 44 (again with the party and arriving late) I am finding out that I have a tribe, a vast, welcoming, exuberant tribe.

And the fact that I can sit and have a serious conversation about Harry Potter for 3 hours is not a waste of time.  That discussing the core differences between Batman and Superman and how the latest movies makers did or did not get it is a valid use of an hour.  And passionately telling you that Joss Whedon changed my life is not only not pathetic, it is a sentiment that is shared everywhere.

I have always been a geek.

I have not always known it.

Not only do I know it now, I revel in it.

Avengers made 200 mil. this weekend.  Now we’re the ones that are cool.